Apple finally has a computer that will entice the millions of Windows minions. Remember, over half the iPod sales are to Windows users and they, like Mac users before them, love their iPods.
They’ll love their iMac G5s, too. Why?
It’s loaded with Trojan horse goodness. Right out of the box you get the feeling that this is something special. To be sure, there is absolutely NO resemblance to the original candy-coated iMacs of yesteryear. There’s absolutely no resemblance to the sunflower iMac G4s of just a few months ago.
As with all Apple products, the “out of box” experience is special.
Everything in the box reaks of quality, goodness, care; the white plastic surrounding the iMac body, the clear plastic around the keyboard and mouse, how well the foam fits around the iMac; caressing, hold, caring for it.
If Windows users love their iPods (and there’s every reason to think so), they’ll love this machine. Plugging it in and getting started is a breeze (even for Windows users).
The unit is a plastic that resembles the front case of the iPod. Smooth, slick white, with personality. Setup on the aluminum stand could not be much simpler.
The iMac G5’s power supply is actually inside the slightly over two inch thick body, so the power cord trails out the back (in the center), through the stand and into the wall. And, yes, the power cord’s long enough to get to the electrical strip on the floor or a wall outlet.
What bothered me right away was the placement of the peripheral connectors on the back of the monitor, uh, display, uh, machine—on the back. The USB, Firewire, Ethernet, Modem connectors all line up nicely but they’re to right side of the iMac as it sits up (facing the screen; there’s two Firewire, and three USB ports, plus audio, modem, and Ethernet).
At first, I thought I’d have a humble jumbled mess of wires and cables hanging all over the desk.
With a little care, the iMac G5 (17”) allows for snug coupling of cables and wires from the connectors right through the hole in the stand and then on and out of sight. Mostly.
That works fine for USB printer, Firewire to an external Hard Drive on another table, the power cord, the Enternet cable from the broadband cable modem, and the telephone line. They can all be wrapped nicely, fit through the stand’s hole and put out of sight.
Not so for the iSight camera and the keyboard.
To be fair, the keyboard’s USB cable can be tied nicely in back of the stand and plugged in appropriately. The mouse, of course, goes right into the keyboard. The iSight camera still sorta sits out there on the desktop by itself. I have an early iSight so I’m reluctant to “stick” it on the back of the iMac G5’s case.
Ok, how does this little puppy run?
Not bad, actually. I’ve seen a few benchmarks here and there on the web already. It’s not as fast as a PowerMac, of course. But it handles GarageBand (CPU and RAM intensive) well, although after about six instruments the GB warning would pop up. The hard drive is definitely quicker than previous iMacs (duh) and the SATA drive included even “feels” faster than my last PowerMac (dual 1.4s gigs).
The base unit came with only 256 megs of RAM. That’s NOT enough. Get it at least to 512 megs and to a full gigabyte of RAM if you can afford it. The applications in the iLife suite will thank you.
Sound comes from the speakers in the front of the iMac and seem to “bounce” down toward the desktop in a manner not unsimilar to the PowerBook 17” speakers (I’m an early adopter) bounce sound off the screen. In short, the sound is bigger than what you’d expect from a consumer machine. It’s loud, firm, not tinny, but not full of rich volume, either.
It’s a consumer machine, remember? Speakers can be plugged into the back of the screen for inclusion into an audio system.
Where’s that Trojan horse? I have to agree with others who’ve insisted that the real Trojan horse of the new iMac G5 isn’t the G5 chip; it’s the remarkable similarity to the iPod (friendly and comfortable for Windows users), AND Mac OS X.
I was somewhat disappointed when the iMac was released because I so loved that sunflower neck on the G4 iMac. It’s tilt, swivel to an extreme degree and almost any angle can be achieved.
That’s not the case with the iMac G5. The tilt up and down is good; even a negative tilt down which would be good for my kids. But no swivel. Or, so I thought.
Just like the new aluminum Cinema Displays, the iMac G5 stand is so refined it’ll swivel left and right with ease. Mine sits on a well-cared-for teak desk; no scratches. It just move smoothly left and right.
Unlike the Cinema Displays, I found that huge area below the iMac’s screen to be a bit disconcerting at first. You’ll get spoiled by the Cinema Displays; they’re all screen. The iMac isn’t all screen. It’s mostly screen. I can’t speak for the 20” version, but the 17” feels VERY compact; smaller than expected.
I’ll have to update this entry later as more RAM gets added. For now, it’s all Ethernet, as I need to pick up an Airport Extreme card for wireless. Also, I don’t know exactly what the read-write speed of the SuperDrive is, but it seems much slower than that of the dual 2.5 ghz PowerMac G5. Much.
Of course, writing to disks may also be processor and RAM intensive and it’s tough to compete with the PowerMac.
All the basic specifications are available on the Apple Store site, of course, so I won’t bore you to death. If “feel” means anything to the few million Windows users who bought iPods and now see a look-alike computer that’s elegant, thin, slick, and runs well, Apple could well sell a few million of the giant-iPods to non-Mac users.
Our local Apple Store received their first iMac G5 late last week. It’s SRO within 10 feet. Everyone wants to touch it. Let’s see if Windows users can become former Windows users.